Princess Caraboo

Dir: Michael Austin
Star: Phoebe Cates, Stephen Rea, Jim Broadbent, Wendy Hughes

[18] Based on a true story which took place just after Waterloo, this film manages to break the usual rule of thumb which says that PG-rated movies are inevitably dire. It stars Cates -- okay, significant plus point there -- as a mysterious girl who turns up in a West Country village, and who may be the exotic Princess of the title, or may be an impostor out to con people. Her passage upwards through society towards the Prince Regent is charted, though the story itself is very slight, the acting is the film's major strong point, and should be compulsory viewing for anyone who reckons Phoebe can't act. She acquits herself superbly, even against one of those casts full of Britiish character actors which will have you going "Isn't that...?" for half the movie - as in "Isn't that Servalan?" (and yes, it is, still with a nifty line in costumes, albeit rather less S/M than in her Blake's 7 days). Managing to be sweet without sinking to saccharine, as "family entertainment" (shudder) goes, it's surprisingly watchable fluff.


Princess of near-Wales
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